What you don’t know about yourself can hurt you and your relationships.
Do you want help figuring out who you are and why you’re stuck in the same ruts?
The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively.
Interactive class sessions explore a practical, comprehensive way of gaining a deeper knowledge of ourselves and compassion for others.
Learn more about yourself and see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do.
Beginning with changes you can start making today, the wisdom of the Enneagram can help take you further along into who you really are―leading you into places of personal discovery and paving the way to the wiser, more compassionate person you want to become.
Like all the other community organizations, we pay nothing for the printed guide or the operation of the website.
Q. Where is my donation going — to the YWCA, to the Valley Giving Guide, to BMCF? It sounds a little complicated.
It might help to think of your gift not as a donation to the guide; but as a donation throughthe guide. The VGG website is simply a tool for giving to the nonprofit organizations in our community. BMCF processes the donations and pays the fees and then distributes the funds where you specify. Every penny goes to the participating nonprofits.
Q. Why should I consider giving through the guide?
BMCF will again cover debit or credit card fees for all participating organizations. Depending on your card, waived fees are like giving 2–5% more without spending another penny.
Last year, other gifts, like checks, included fees. This year, the foundation is eliminating all fees.
Plus BMCF is securing funds to provide a bonus on up to $10,000 of each gift. The generous sponsors underwriting the bonus funds are listed on the giving guide website. During the checkout process you can choose to add 5% to the bonus pool yourself. This addition will show up on your receipt as “underwriting.”
Q. How much will the bonus be?
It was 10% last year; this year is still unknown. The bonus will depend on 1) total funds raised and 2) total donated to the bonus pool.
For example, a $500 gift through the guide or BMCF could grow by, say, an 8% bonus – $500 becomes $540. And BMCF covers card fees, so the nonprofit gets it all.
Q. On the Valley Giving Guide website, I saw something about a $20,000 match, but now I don’t. What happened?
That $20,000 was matched (and then some) on the very first day the website officially opened! If you compare the total on our page (which shows a row of adorable kiddos from My Friends’ House) with the total on the Leaderboard, you’ll see that the total on our page “includes $20,000 in matched donations.” If you made your donation on Nov. 29, chances are good that your donation was matched at 100% because of the $20,000 grant from J.L. Stubblefield Trust. The first day’s donations (and each gift up to $10,000 since) will grow by the additional percentage that is still to be determined.
The foundation has made an incredible investment in our valley with the time and funds put into the Valley Giving Guide.
Between amazing friends like you and the support of BMCF, the nonprofits in our community can continue the work of making our valley a safer, more joyful place to live.
We are proud to serve this community and always so grateful for compassionate people like you who believe in our valley’s women and families.
Next time you are in the YWCA office, say hello (or hola – she’s bilingual) to Carmen Gonzalez at the front desk.
In her own words, here’s a little more about the newest face in the YWCA office:
When you grow up in a Mexican household, you learn pretty fast about how things work in the world. I knew how vital politics, social work, and mental health can be.
Mental health is something that my family, any family honestly, still has a hard time discussing. What better way to fix that if not by becoming a clinical psychologist?
Reaching for my goals
I graduated from Walla Walla Community College knowing my ultimate career goal, but before pursuing further education, I needed exposure to a setting where a psychologist’s skills could be put to work. I needed to get an idea of what my potential future career could hold and if I was ready.
After searching for anything that would give me that, I was reminded that we have a women’s shelter that helps out in all kinds of ways. So when I saw that the YWCA had an opening, I jumped at it.
What I do when I’m not at the YWCA front desk
Besides my career goal, something you should know about me is that I’m a big bookworm. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I will always find a way to read a book.
At a party? Book already in hand. At the grocery store? Kindle app at the ready. Going through a breakup? My books may have tear stains, but I’m still reading.
At one point in my life, I was reading a book a week. Those were the good days. I read anything from modern romance to fantasy, sometimes a mix of both. I do have one simple rule with books; If I can’t make it through the first 100 pages, the book was not meant to be.
Another big part of my life is my love for Spider-Man.
A hero for everyone
My dad showed me the Tobey Maguire version when I was 5 years old. My world got so much bigger after that. I would consume anything that was Spider-Man-related.
Imagine my reaction when another movie came out with The Amazing Spider-Man played by Andrew Garfield. My world grew again. It was so mesmerizing that it topped the original movies for me.
When Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, was finally introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was a crying mess. My two favorite worlds combined at last.
I have watched every movie in theaters twice since then. Imagine my joy when Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse came out centered around Miles Morales, an afro Latinx kid. As someone who grew up watching only white heroes, it made me shed a couple of tears. Every kid deserves a superhero that looks like them. Even now, at 22 years old, you can find me raving about that movie.
I was both thrilled and nervous when I got hired at the YWCA. It’s been a bit of a learning curve but there’s always someone available to help me out.
The most satisfying part of this opportunity is to be part of changing someone’s life for the better.
Every year, generous volunteers “Adopt a YWCA Family” (click for registration form) to make sure everyone in the shelters has a beautiful season of peace and joy.
Also included are families involved in support group and LiNC life skills classes.
“These gifts have an incredible positive impact on our families,” said Mary Byrd, Director of Client Services. “Whether living in the shelter or on their own, many don’t have room in their budgets for anything but essentials.”
By Thursday, Nov. 9: Request a family.
By Wednesday, Nov. 18: Receive their wish lists.
Shop for list items or gift cards (usually about $75/person).
By Friday, Dec. 9: Drop off the unwrapped gifts.
*We will continue taking applicants until all families are spoken for. Requests after Nov. 9 will have custom deadline schedules.
“The YW staff matches a family to my budget and family size preference and lists their sizes, favorite color, and a couple of wish list items,” said YWCA Board Member Teresa Larson, who has adopted families since well before she joined the board.
“Great fun, good feels, and a family gets to celebrate a little nicer Christmas because you cared!”
Trilogy Recovery Community and College Place Prevention Coalition (CPPC) joined YWCA this April and May in our community’s REDress Project.
Jaime Black started the REDress project in 2010 to represent missing Indigenous women and girls. Her first exhibition was in a museum in Winnipeg. (Photos on the Métis artist’s website show several of these powerful images.)
AWARENESS IS A START April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, is a time to address the community issue and campus issue of sexual violence.
But the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) in the US and Canada reminds us that violence is also an intersectional issue.
That is, when social problems like violence and marginalization overlap, the harm is amplified.
In the US, Native American women are estimated to be more than twice as likely to experience violence as other groups. One in three Indigenous women is sexually assaulted during her lifetime, with 67 percent of the assaults made by non-Native perpetrators. On some reservations, in fact, Native women are killed at 10 times the national average.
PARTNERS JOIN YWCA Lucinda Victorio, a School Recovery Support Ally & Advocate with Trilogy Recovery Community, worked with CPPC to spotlight Indigenous women lost in Washington state and create posters about their stories. These women have disappeared from their communities, some killed and some still missing.
Thank you to all the community members who displayed Red Dress yard signs about the project, displayed or donated red dresses, or shared a photo with the hashtag #MMIW.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Amplify missing person messages by sharing to your social media networks.
Thanks to YWCA USA and our Board of Directors, staff members are empowered with new online tools and funding to promote rest and resilience.
“Wellness couldn’t be more important,”, said Executive Director Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, “especially now.”
For the last two years, she said, “we have endured a lot at work and home.” We’ve survived the challenges, “but have we thrived?”
Our Wellness Committee plans include activities and recognition to help reconnect staff social ties that were strained during the many months we couldn’t gather. And a staff newsletter will offer self-care reminders.
“I’m really excited to be a part of the Wellness Committee,” said MFH Office Assistant Brea Green. “Mental health is super important to me and I love the goal of this program.”
Follow us on social media as we share some of the wellness tips we discover. Join us on the wellness journey!
“My hope,” said Anne-Marie, “is that we will build healthy habits together and strengthen our bonds as co-workers and fellow humans.”
IT’S NO SECRET that Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, YWCA Executive Director, radiates positive exuberance in just about any situation.
But as noon on Wednesday, May 4, approaches, she is even more joyful than usual because of the upcoming luncheon.
“As giddy as I am about being back in person,” said Anne-Marie, “I don’t want anyone to feel bad if they choose to attend virtually.”
The 2022 luncheon will be our first hybrid event – one where guests in the ballroom and people watching from home will have similar experiences.
“The point is to be together,” said Anne-Marie. “While I can’t wait to see people in person again, I’ll be beaming my hugs and good vibes to everyone streaming the luncheon from home. We need your virtual presence, too!”
LEADING WITH LOVE In these trying times, staying positive and hopeful is difficult. Most of us are overwhelmed and exhausted. Some of us are even a bit jaded.
“Leading with Love,” said keynote speaker and Providence St. Mary’s Manager of Population Health, Becky Betts, “is the message we need to hear right now.”
She will share uplifting stories and treasured life lessons to help us meet our challenges with kindness, compassion, and love. Love, she believes, is “a creative and problem-solving force that ignites imagination and goodwill.”
You will leave inspired to build genuine human connections to heal our homes, community, and world.
YWCA SPONSORS ARE THE BEST “We have been grateful for the constant support of our sponsors and friends over the past two years as we’ve been finding new ways of doing events,” said Kirsten Schober, Events and Donor Engagement Coordinator.
“It took a while to determine what would be possible this year, but our partners jumped right in as soon as we asked for their help.”
Our sponsors, Kirsten said, “provide solutions to abuse and homelessness that change lives for the better. We are so grateful!”